Marvel’s made a habit of including a solid swath of bonus material on the home video releases of its recent superhero films, and The Avengers, the biggest Marvel film to date, is no exception. Alongside the standard commentary tracks and behind-the-scenes vignettes, the Blu-ray version of The Avengers will include a short film dubbed Item 47 that, until this morning, had been a mystery.
Thanks to Entertainment Weekly however, we now have solid details on the short. It stars Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls, Party Down) and Jesse Bradford (Flags Of Our Fathers) as a couple who inadvertently come into possession of one of the guns used by the alien invasion during the climactic battle of The Avengers. Remember those? Apparently it’s almost impossible to find good images of these things online outside of the above picture and EW’s exclusive first image from Item 47, but, in sum, they look a whole lot like the guns used by The Covenant in Halo.
Back on topic: According to EW, instead of handing the gun over to Captain America or Nick Fury, the young lovers opt for a more larcenous route. “The world is topsy-turvy now. There’s been an alien invasion, and things are crazy,” said Item 47 director and Marvel Studios co-president Louis D’Esposito. “So when this gun literally fell into their lap, this is a sign: We’re going to rob a few banks, we’re going to buy a boat, we’re going to the Caribbean, and all our problems will be solved.”
In turn, S.H.I.E.L.D. sends two agents to clean up the mess these two inevitably create, and presumably the movie offers some kind of coy, mysterious hint at what Marvel Studios has planned for the near future. That’s generally how these things go. The key difference between Item 47 and the short vignettes that preceded it is that this flick is a full 12-minutes long, almost three times longer than Marvel’s previous efforts. Whether that means a more fleshed out story, or more excuses for fanboys to get excited for future Marvel Studios releases remains to be seen.
As to why Marvel would choose to shift focus away from the bombastic, world-altering battles of The Avengers towards more grounded, “realistic” fare, scriptwriter Eric Pearson offers the following: “Anything that expands the world and shows you the more human elements of it, that just makes the world more colorful and fun for the average viewer.”
As comic book fans will know, this sort of story isn’t all that out of the ordinary for Marvel. The company’s Damage Control comic book series is specifically designed to explore what happens after superheroes and villains destroy huge swaths of a city during battle, and despite being more mundane than some of the company’s other books, is a surprisingly good read. Fingers crossed that Item 47 goes in that direction as well.